Feeling the Suffering

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Sometimes they say that the smartest people feel the suffering.

Well what is smart anyway? Smarts should be the ability to come up with working solutions.

In order to solve something we should have problem and we should feel the problem completely. This might refer to the ability of empathy to everything around us.

It’s in human nature to feel the suffering somehow, that’s what makes us creative and smart at the same time. We are human, because of our ability to suffer.

Focusing to the suffering does not solve anything, however the ability to feel the suffering is the ground to start looking for solutions.

First Priorities Should Come as First Action

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Your actions reflect your true priorities.

If you sleep a long time, nap a few times and then rush to work, then your most important priority comes from working for others in exchange of your time.

If you were working for yourself, you would do your own creative work first and then work for others.

Same goes with the money that comes to you and you spend. If you start spending to the fun things first, then your serious savings and investments will not grow. People with rich mindset pay themselves first, always.

What do you consider to be most important priorities? Do they really happen?

I realized that in my life they do not. Certainly on many mornings I do jog and exercise, even read and listen some books during my commute. Yet for writing I haven’t had the time.

And the haven’t had the time is just an excuse, I haven’t made the time. And why I haven’t made the time? I had an argument that “I cannot write in the morning because my mind doesn’t have any ideas to work on in the morning” – yet this is so weak argument. I’ve a lots of ideas, it’s merely about effort to dig those up or about preparation to make sure in the previous evening to sure have everything at hand for writing.

Try listening to yourself and write those arguments down. Often the things that keep us from doing things are rather silly.

First priorities should be done first.

Don’t Let the Limits Bother You

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Creativity blossoms out of limits.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

Excuses are form of our own thoughts limiting our own actions. Let go of excuses.

Beliefs what is or is not possible is a form of limitation. Do not let beliefs hold you back, look to open up possibilities.

What we have achieved before, does not mean something is impossible. It has just merely been done before. Do not let past, history limit you.

What others think you can or cannot do, is not necessarily accurate judgement. Do not let others determine what you can or cannot do. You know yourself best and if you think you have a chance, try it out.

Do not let the limits bother you, even if there are limits, seek to build bridges in between. You will find more strength and are able to summon unexpected strength and creativity. Limits are the construction material for greatness.

Embrace the Odd

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You are a bit weird aren’t you? We all are rather weird, especially when we start to look closely.

In fact it is exactly because of our differences and diversity that makes life fun and worth living. This I wonderfully odd I am and still getting somehow along.

It’s surprising that a common language and a task can bring so many people together. This is what fascinates me about company cultures. Originally I started doing my thesis about company cultures, then later on I become so absorbed my current company that of course I cannot see the company culture anymore, because I am living it so strongly.

Culture is an unseen, strong force. A collective unwritten agreement on how people will act under pressure. What will the stress response be, that is the test of the culture.

Another interesting test is how does the culture handle the new and odd. Does it manage to embrace the change or resist it?  I work in a change management consultancy, so the people who are attracted there are very open minded and open to change as well. The differences and diversity sparks the creativity in my opinion. And it’s just not my own opinion as well, because most creative cities in the world across the times have been tolerant of the diversity.

It’s not just the diversity in others, it’s in ourselves as well that we have to be learn to embrace.

Oddity in ourselves is the thing we need to be proud of, because it is through that from where we can bring most value to other people.

Get Crawling

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Life is imperfect, we need to accept this right off the bat. Imperfection is not the reason not to get started and going. I am imperfect. So may be you. Yet both of us have the capacity to become something a little bit better, this in fact I feel like is the meaning of life.

To be able to become a little bit better, in order to benefit others more. To love myself so that I could nurture the growth of others as Scott Beck put it.

Whatever it is you are interested in doing, you should find a ways to do it now, or very at least today something towards it. Then just repeat it the next day and you are again a step closer.

Today I for example I calculated that I managed to combine three activities that must be done into a one: exercise, chores and learning. In fact all of these I wanted to do now, because I know that how much I will benefit from all of it. I feel like it is great use of time to batch activities like this.

World won’t be perfect over a day. Sometimes big breakthroughs do happen overnight either by coincidence or by sheer creativity and necessity. Yet most of the improvement happens gradually over time. Breakthroughs are rather unpredictable and what matters most is the crawl: ability to every day proceed towards what is deemed as important.

Now when we are moving, let’s talk about prioritizing your tasks.

Prioritizing is one of the most difficult cognitive task we can set for ourselves. We have to make choices to do and not to do. I recently learned that it’s rather useful to set the morning for prioritization and this is true especially for me who gets interrupted a lot at work during the day in an open office setting.

Of course prioritizing happens through the day and through week. I plan my work week ahead during Sundays. This has been a habit for me since my college years when I liked to dedicate Sunday for quiet study and contemplation without any interruptions. I still do enjoy this Sunday study time a lot and in fact even today I used to prioritize my life board – it’s kind of collection of post it’s full of wisdom that include my goals, daily actions to crawl towards those goals and important tools to keep with me during the journey. Reorganizing and updating this info is one of my favorite things to do during the week – I feel like when I organize my life board my mind gets clearer as well.

Now you know what you want to do during the week and during the day, just get crawling.

Simple Success

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Succeeding in life is easy:

  1. Determine what is important, what does success mean?
  2. Figure out concrete actions
  3. Prioritize: decide in which order and when you perform these actions
  4. Learn and return to 1.

People get caught to a story loop, in which they are constantly convincing themselves why they cannot achieve this. Watch your self-talk, be mindful and accurate of your thinking and your words. Then keep returning to the first rule. What is the success for me, what is really important?

Groundwork also involves a lot of self-knowledge, your values and you goals. If you do not know yourself, you cannot start succeeding, how could you if you do not even know what you want and need.

In life results come from nothing. It depends on your creativity and ability to organize common successes how much you can get from nothing and in what time. We all have limited time and no-one really knows how much.

What can be done depends only on your capacity to draw things from the unknown, the creative world. World we know today has been made from nothing. We are the shapers, we create the change.

What kind of change you want to create?

My advice is to create reasons for succeeding in creating this vision rather than excuses to obscure it.

Happiness, Wealth, Success and Love is in Our Minds

 

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Our minds create meaning. Consciously we can choose what kind of meaning we give to what happens in life.

With the same principle our happiness is in our minds.

Our wealth is created by our mind, creativity, imagination, habits and actions.

Our success is the result of our actions.

Love? Actual love is doing rather than a feeling. Feeling is a mess in brain chemistry, real love is actions. If you do good, you will find eventually that it resonates back to you from people.

We become what we put into our minds. This includes the environment we are in as well as where do we spent our focus: i.e. is it in watching entertainment, pursuit of knowledge, building relationships or doing good deeds.

Formula for Creative Output

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 “It’s not the hours you put in your work that counts, it’s the work you put in the hours.”  – Sam Ewing

Results do matter. Then there are people who say “quantity first” or “quality first.” They are both right. Especially when it comes to business or creativity (art) quantity does come first and with that comes the quality.

 “Picasso’s oeuvre includes more than 1,800 paintings, 1,200 sculptures, 2,800 ceramics, and 12,000 drawings, not to mention prints, rugs, and tapestries— only a fraction of which have garnered acclaim.” – Adam Grant, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

Well Picasso is an example here, yet you could pick almost any famous artist. Because those who succeed with little output and some masterpieces are the exception rather than the rule. The conclusion is if we look at the probabilities that the highest originality correlates with the volume of the output.

Both quantity and quality matter. Yet if you want the probabilities to be with you, you do it through the quantity. Probabilities in this life is like the force in the Star Wars. You would like the probabilities to be with you.

At first the quantity is worthy of worship. It’s only when we’ve learned some rudimental basics and notice that we are banging our heads to the walls that we can start to think a bit about in terms of quality. First we must become an object to learn anything. Later on then we can start to switch between applying what we have learned and the learning itself.

We should keep on doing a lot precisely because of learning and renewal. Learning is the core of creativity. And the learning happens through the function of quantity.

Summary of Seth Godin’s Linchpin

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Today I decided to revisit my highlights of the Linchpin. It is the book that literally made me to write every day again and I hold it in high regard. Although I had tried with my previous blog writing everyday for month, I didn’t stick with it. And even this time I had from different sources and different reasons to stick with this (Steve Pavlina and Neil Pasricha), Linchpin despite was the book that convinced me to start again.

“Stop asking what’s in it for you and start giving gifts that change people.”

Quite simply and shortly put the Linchpin is a book about being you, and stop hitting your head to the wall. It’s about creating the art (what ever you want to do) that is meaningful.

I’ve found my most meaningful time of the day to be thinking and clarifying my thinking as a text. While the medium might and change from person to person, you should put the effort there. Seth’s advice is to put the hour to your art no matter what. Do not mind the defects, as art is never defect free anyway.

The lesson is to commit to an hour a day to the art and then deliver.

“In everything you do, it’s possible to be an artist, at least a little bit.”

Life is not about the dull work, it’s about the wonderful art. Seth spends quite a lot of time and space in the book to talk about what are the common causes that people do not follow this advice: fear and resistance rise up, which I can totally relate. He had inspirational lines like “I realized that my lizard brain was afraid of this book, which is the best reason I can think of to write it.”

Creating art does require courage and less resistance.

“You become a winner because you’re good at losing.”

To conclude, the key is about creative action that is not just any action, but work that brings meaning to the peoples’ lives. Such action is called art, and almost any action can be art if it’s done with creativity and sense of purpose, not with just the bored everyday routines. What does prevent us from doing to ordinary extraordinarily well is our lizard brain that is afraid of failure. The way to overcome this is through the practice of delivering and doing it because it is meaningful and it deserves to be done and delivered.

Success Follows Preparation

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Yesterday after fun lunch discussion, we were joking that at the offers for example that are done at the last second in the back seat of the taxi.

I.e. I was telling example, that that kind of image was in my mind when I enrolled to business school.

However, such offers that are done at the last second and at the back seat of the taxi are rarely the winning offers.

Same goes for pretty much anything that has been done just “last night” or at the “last minute” – leaving too much for the last minute is not ideal practice.

Great people can leave a lot of options open until late minute, in order to allow creativity. However, this does not mean that they do not have the ending or several drafts up in their sleeve. These people have already many options, they are not trying to just finish, they are trying to finish off as well as possible.

Success follows preparation.